University of Minnesota medical students visit Northwestern

Dr. Chuck Sawyer | November 06, 2016

Medical students from the University of Minnesota came to Northwestern to learn about acupuncture and Oriental medicine.

Second-year medical students spent a morning at Northwestern learning about the rich history, theories and the practice of acupuncture and Oriental medicine. The annual fall field trip to Northwestern's campus enabled future medical physicians to get an introduction to this healing discipline and to meet our faculty and students.

This tradition began over 14 years ago when the University of Minnesota and other large academic health centers received federal funding to develop integrative medicine curriculum initiatives.

"We felt that it was important for us to build collaborative relationships with other educators in the community, and we have been fortunate to have Northwestern as a partner and to host our visits over these many years," said Dr. Karen Lawson, a medical doctor from the University of Minnesota. "The field trip is a popular component of a course in the medical curriculum called Essentials of Clinical Medicine, in which students are introduced to ethics, law, finances and other aspects of medical practice."

Morning classes were canceled in order to give Northwestern students and faculty the opportunity to demonstrate and discuss acupuncture, cupping, herbal therapy and other traditional Chinese medicine diagnostic and treatment approaches with the future medical physicians. The event was organized by faculty and staff under the leadership of Christian Jovanovic, Director of Northwestern's Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine program.

"As more health-care delivery models turn to team-based care, these exposure events are one way Northwestern is promoting the incorporation of massage therapy, chiropractic, acupuncture and Chinese medicine into clinical practice," said Dale Healey, Dean of Northwestern's College of Health and Wellness.

Although the grant funding that supports this educational collaboration between Northwestern and the University of Minnesota has ended, medical and nursing student visits to our campus will continue because of the popularity of the program. Leaders and faculty from both institutions also believe that interdisciplinary collaboration between health-care educators is essential for improving the efficiency, coordination and outcomes of patient care.

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